Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's a matter of..........Price Matching

The following information comes from The Dollar Stretcher Magazine dated 4/20/09:

The Art of Price Matching
by Shaunna Privratsky

They tend to keep the policy under wraps, but... I always read the circulars that come in the Sunday newspaper.I used to find one or two items on sale at various stores, and make a list. Then I would run all over town, chasing down couple of dollars off here, 50 cents off there. That is, until I mastered the art of price matching. Most retail stores will price match any item as long as it is identical. They tend to keep their policy under wraps, because they would rather sell you the item at a higher cost and keep the profits. However, if you follow the rules, you are bound to get a better deal. The worst the employee can say is "no,"and then you simply go to the original store that has the sale item.

Why bother price matching if it is a hassle? There are several ways that price matching saves you money and time. The first is one-stop shopping. If you can get everything at store A,why run to stores B, C, D, E, etc. You get the benefit of convenience and speed.

Another big savings is gas. The less driving around you have to do, the more you save. I always try to limit my shopping trips to once a week, or combine errands to save even more time and gas.

Knowing the policy before you shop is the key to successful price matching. For instance, Wal-Mart will price match anything they stock. It must be the identical item, in the same size and packaging. You should bring in the whole advertisement, with the item or items circled. They may have to double-check the dates of the advertisement, or confirm with a manager.

Other stores will go beyond matching their competitor's pricing. Two home-improvement stores boast that they will beat any price and give you 10% more! The Home Depot and Menards follow this policy.

Furniture stores may also be willing to price match. Slumberland puts their promise in every ad. Be aware that most furniture stores carry exclusive or store brands, so it may be more difficult to price match. The good news is that sometimes a salesman will make a better offer on a similar item in a competitor's ad, so it doesn't hurt to ask.

Another great place to practice your price matching skills is when purchasing a vehicle. Today's modern technology makes price comparison a breeze. Check out these websites to find a dealer near you that can offer you the best price possible. (Kelly Blue Book)

Other ways to make price matching pay is when the original store is sold out of the item. Store B probably has plenty left and can give you the same price without the hassle of rain checks or limits on quantity. This is especially helpful when the original store offers an item so cheap it is called a loss leader. They offer it below cost, just to entice you into their store.

This leads to my next point. When you plan a shopping trip,make a list and stick to it. Of course, you are going to find great bargains, but if it is not something you really need,pass it up. Put it on next week's list if you really want it.

By following these simple suggestions, you can leave more money in your wallet and still score great bargains. Congratulations; you've just mastered the art of price matching.

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